From London to Cairo to Jakarta, these raw, divided emotions were on display this past week as Muslims sought to respond to the carnage of war. While some Muslims in the Middle East sought unsuccessfully to make their way to Baghdad to fight and die alongside their Iraqi brethren, the vast majority there and in Europe and Asia sat by helplessly.
Security officials in Britain, France and a host of other nations say they have seen no signs yet that the war has produced a new wave of recruits or activity on behalf of the al Qaeda terrorist network. But there is little doubt that the war has created new sympathy for the organization among Muslims. Ramazan Ucar, imam at the Centrum- Mosque in Hamburg, Germany, the city where some of the Sept. 11 attacks were planned, had publicly condemned the terror attacks. Now, he says, he feels differently.
Some of the more radical positions taken by Muslim clerics reflect internal struggles between rival Islamic groups. In Russia, for example, a top Muslim leader this week declared holy war against the United States, but was immediately rebuked by a rival Muslim cleric who urged Russia's 20 million Muslims to confine their opposition to prayer and charitable donations.
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